Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Betamike vs the Coke Machine: Bring me the head of Mr.Pibb!

There's a conspiracy underfoot, I just know it! I am bigger than this but I am armed with words and an audience of tens of people so here I go.

I am being denied my civil liberty of being able to purchase and swill the luscious, peppery joy of Mr. Pibb. That's right, I have faced many barriers in a daily attempt that has strung along for well over a month of being able to enjoy a simple 20 oz. beverage during my lunch break.

It all started quite innocently when I decided that the cafeteria at work had enough of my hard-earned money. I figured it was about time for me to start packing my lunch and save a buck or two. All I would have to do is bring one of the aforementioned bucks and purchase the one thing I can't live without...a peppery drink. I love Dr. Pepper by choice but seeing how I live in an all-things-Coke world, Mr. Pibb has substituted quite nicely and quite frankly, I have grown accustomed to it's sharp bite.

The first incident about a month ago occurred when I noticed that the Coke machine's normally bright red LED light had been darkened. I should tell you that the only Coke machine in our cafeteria is the elevator kind. If you are not familiar with this kind of machine, then you simply have not enjoyed the frustration of a Coke machine perpetually on the fritz. It appears on this specific occasion that a lowly bottle of Fanta had fallen forward against the glass thusly preventing the conveyor belt from rising or lowering in the machine. I guess sensing it's impending vacation, the machine simply shut down and went to sleep.

The next day I return to find that the machine was back in service and fully stocked but someone had mysteriously shoved a piece of paper in the slot where you would normally feed your dollar into. is indeed considered "paper" but not....Literally "paper." So there went my plan to grab Mr. Pibb for my lunch. Now, the previous day I had decided to rough it and just grab an empty cup from the cafeteria and drink water (I know!) but that just didn't cut it. There is something about having a sharp, sugary drink to finish your meal off with. Forget all that healthy crap, Mr. Pibb is like having dessert!

I should explain that the same bottle you can get out of the machine for $1 will cost you $1.16 if you have to resort to going into the cafeteria and purchase it. Buying it from the machine is like getting it duty-free! Today, I was desperate so I went in and coughed up the buck and 16 cents. Well, actually one of my co-workers coughed up the 16 cents, who carries change with them?!

Not two days later when I returned to the cafeteria, the coke machine was once again inoperative but this time, there was a very strange code flashing across the LED screen giving me or whoever else cared to notice the exact problem going on. It screamed at me that it was having some sort of software issue. I immediately rushed into the cafeteria and got the attention of the hot line supervisor who took down the software specifics and proceeded to call the vending company. Get this machine some help! Sadly, again I was forced to overpay for my bottle of Pibb. It was at this point that I started thinking...conspiracy!

I just happen to be able to take my lunch at the same time as the typical "lunch rush" and it seemed a little too convenient to me that every day at the same time something just happened to cause the machine to shut down. Also, how convenient is it that the cafeteria just happens to have a fully stocked fridge full of the fizzy drinks that are now just out of reach? And for 16 cents more! Scandalous I tell you. This all seemed to happen just as my peers who buy their meals in the cafeteria were complaining that the portions had just gotten smaller and the prices had gone up. If I weren't so naive, I would think that the cafeteria was intentionally rigging the machine so that I would be forced to purchase my drinks from them and not the machine.

Flash forward to this week when after about one or two weeks of smooth sailing, mainly due to my complaining about the machine to the chagrin of the cafeteria, the Pibb vandal struck again. This week the Vending machine representative (who I now believe is in cahoots with the cafeteria) decides to be all Martha Stewart and re-arrange all of the beverages so that when I feed my dollar into the machine and robotically press D8, I get that nasty 7-Up Plus that they are pushing so hard on TV these days. Mr. Pibb has now been reduced to one row and relegated to the bottom shelf of the machine where only the dregs of soft drinks exist. This is the row where all the black sludge collects from the dripping superiority of the Coca-Cola Zero high above it.

Feeling completely smug about the whole ordeal, I was determined not to be outsmarted by karma or whoever had their caffeinated hand in this. Yesterday I approached the Coke machine like Gary Cooper in High Noon, my eyes keenly aware of the resting position of the sole row of Mr. Pibb.....E1. I had to be non-chalant but bold, this was my moment. I placed the dollar into the slot, eased up to the rubber key pad and...SOLD OUT. Still, there in front of me sat an entire row of Mr. Pibb, the bottles all dewey and cold. Yet, the sign said it all. Sold out kid.

God wants me to drink water I think.


GreenLitLindy said...


Kelley! I have to tell you we Barq's Rootbeer Drinkers are having the same plight.

May wer report these same injustices to the United Vending Nations, so that our choice of what to 'pop' will truly be, decidely, our own. dear Pibb lover, are not alone on this warfield.

No .16 cents shall overcome. No Fanta bottle shall stand in our hostile LCD codes bar our enjoyment of the one $1 dollar treat we have left at said property.

And don't even GET me started on the "Twist Cap" promotion! 1 & 12 my A$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

All things wwjcw,

Lindy Barqer

Word Verification: wwjcw

"What would J Crew wear?"
"Why would Jeff costume workers?"
"When will Jeff's Coke win?"
I could get dirty but won't...I could go on...but shall not.


TripAway2Day said...

That was an exremely painful story to read.

At our local vending machine, my regular Mr. Pibb has been replaced by Pibb XTRA. And, you probably know...just ain't yer good ol' Mr. Pibb.

MY word: xruzx

Brooks said...

My boss was so greedy for warehouse space that he got rid of our soda machine. But before he did it, we got him to promise that he'd keep the fridge stocked with Mountain Dew so that we would not be left wanting when the mid-afternoon snoozies hit. Well, predicably he was really good about it for about a month but now, a year later, we're often out of soda for a week at a time. I feel your pain.

betamike said...

Thank you Lindy for representation from the Barq's group. Surely you too have felt the sear of being relegated to the bottom shelf. I so have to agree that the 1 in 12 rarely happens and I feel is most likely reserved for the Suzies that drink the more popular Coke Zero or Coke Beta Tri Lambda.

I feel your call to action and it is ON!

Chris H, I totally understand and there is no substitute for the real thing but as there is no Mr. Pibb in existence any more and only Pibb Xtra (kind of like in Ghostbusters when Dana says "There is no Dana...only Zuul!") ANYWAY....I substituted the term Pibb Xtra for regular Mr. Pibb as I REFUSE to call Mr. Pibb that awful gen X moniker of Pibb Xtra.

And Brooks, tell your boss to get off his ass or there is going to be ANARCHY!!!!! I mean, you are going to have to keep the reputation of Dew drinkers everywhere. I've see those Dew commercials....those people are CRAZY!!!!!

by the way, my word is amgninl :)


langel said...

We have that same vending machine in my cafeteria. Though I shell out the $1.25 for the Minute Maid orange juice as I have an aversion to pop, I do enjoy the commendable efforts to cover minority demographics on the face of said vending machine.
Though I don't think I find any of them attractive.

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